Purpose: Bacterial ocular infections can result in loss of all or part of the ocular structures, contributing to a high disability charge. Local surveillance of etiology and susceptibility patterns is crucial for an appropriate empiric management of ocular infections. The aim of this study was to analyze of bacterial spectrum in culture-proven ocular infections and trends of antimicrobial susceptibility patterns. Methods: A monocentric retrospective study was performed including ocular infection cases diagnosed at the Microbiology Unit of Turin Ophthalmic Hospital between 1988 and 2017. Spectrum of pathogens that caused bacterial culture-proven ocular infections and trends of antimicrobial susceptibility patterns were analyzed. Results: A total of 15,517 culture-positive isolates were identified as causative agents of ocular infections. Gram-positive bacteria were deemed to cause infection in 73.5% of cases. Staphylococcus spp. and Pseudomonas spp., coagulase-negative staphylococci, Staphylococcus aureus were the leading causative pathogens of keratitis, endophthalmitis, and conjunctivitis, respectively. Statistically significant changes in temporal trends were observed for all analyzed microorganism groups except for Enterobacteriaceae group. Overall, fluoroquinolones and chloramphenicol demonstrated to be the most effective antimicrobials in vitro toward bacterial ocular infections, followed by tetracycline, ampicillin, and aminoglycosides. Enterobacteriaceae isolates showed higher multi-drug resistance rate, followed by coagulase-negative staphylococci. Analysis of resistance rates over time highlighted increasing resistance trend for aminoglycosides among Gram-negative and for both aminoglycosides and fluoroquinolones among Gram-positive pathogens, especially for S. aureus. Conclusion: This study provided a 30-year assessment of bacterial ocular infections in an urban area of Italy, giving support to epidemiological consciousness and guiding empiric antimicrobial therapy.
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